At the most recent Detroit Auto Show in January, one of the buzziest booths bottled up new car smells for car fanatics to sample. People could also create their favorite scents by combining smells, and 50 of them later had those bottled smells sent to them. The presenting brand: Ally, a digital bank.
The objective wasn’t to create a new Ally-branded fragrance line, but to give customers a memorable experience of the brand. It’s a way that Ally — which does a lot of auto-financing — tries to makes its marketing as tangible as possible while remaining a digital bank without any brick-and-mortar branches.
Ally is grappling with the lack of a physical footprint by diving into marketing that emphasizes experiences tied to a physical location — whether it’s a memorable scent; a gift sent by a drone; or a geofence-activated alert that tells a customer they’re near the store where they make the most purchases.